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Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:36 AM

Is Iraq on Its Way to a Civil War?

http://www.alternet.org/iraq-its-way-civil-war

All indicators are pointing to a looming sectarian civil war on Iraq’s horizon. It is possible to avoid this civil war, but so far, the country’s leaders are not willing to compromise, and outside parties show little interest in stopping it. They should care more than they do: if not resolved, a bloody civil war in Iraq will fuel the rising conflict among Sunni-Shia across the Middle East — now in Lebanon and Syria — with the potential of spreading into other countries and inviting extremists to take advantage of the conflagration.

Of course the United States’ nine-year occupation of Iraq unleashed this friction between Sunni and Shia, the underlying inferno that keeps Iraqis killing each other. According to Iraq Body Count, 4,505 Iraqis died from violence in 2012-409 in the month of Ramadan alone. Many will say this is civil war already, with numerous groups carrying out suicide attacks, bombings and outright assassinations on a daily basis. No one knows for sure who is responsible most of the time, but invariably it is Al-Qaeda, Sunni militants, lingering Baathists, sectarian fighters, and insurgent nationalists who are to blame.

Politically, it’s a mess. Iraq’s President Jalal Talabani is in failing health, suffering from the effects of a stroke and convalescing in Germany. Talabani is a moderate and a Kurd and has been a unifying figure on the issue of the Kurdish relationship with the central authority in Iraq. Many political factions are gearing up for a fight to replace him, amid serious tensions between the semi-autonomous north and Baghdad.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is hunting down his opponents, including his own vice president, Tariq Al-Hashimi. The Sunni politician was charged with terrorism in 2011 when three of his bodyguards were accused of murder and committing acts of torture, supposedly under al-Hashimi’s orders. Al-Hashimi escaped first to Kurdistan, and in September 2012 was sentenced to death in absentia by an Iraqi court. He is now residing in Turkey where he is reportedly safe from extradition. Furthermore in December, al-Maliki’s security forces raided the home and offices of the Sunni finance minister, Rafie al-Issawi, and arrested ten of his bodyguards on charges of terrorism. Mr. Issawi was accused in the past with links to terror, but no proof has ever been offered.

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Reply Is Iraq on Its Way to a Civil War? (Original post)
xchrom Feb 2013 OP
hobbit709 Feb 2013 #1
HiPointDem Feb 2013 #2
polly7 Feb 2013 #3
bemildred Feb 2013 #4
KharmaTrain Feb 2013 #5
hobbit709 Feb 2013 #6
KharmaTrain Feb 2013 #7
brush Feb 2013 #8

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:37 AM

1. Been on its way since Saddam was removed.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:39 AM

2. who could have predicted? but seriously, the capitalists are just remaking the map of the world --

 

again.

what's a little civil war in the face of that?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 07:57 AM

3. Really sad.

I'm not sure if anyone here was reading the Riverbend Girl Blog at the time, she repeatedly pointed out how Sunni and Shia lived together as neighbours, married one another and that it was laughable to believe there were deep divisions between ordinary people in Iraq based on religion, before the invasion.

I believe creating hatred and civil war between the two was a goal in the early days ... just another excuse to justify it all, but it's very sad to see it seems to be getting worse now.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:10 AM

4. I don't believe it's ever left since we invaded.

Things are hardly in a settled state (except in Pentagon-wonderland).

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:19 AM

5. Partioning Ahead...

VP Biden predicted this right after dubya invaded. The country is pretty much divided into three zones...the Kurds in the north who've set up their own autonomous state in the wake of the first Gulf Oil war in '91 and have oil resources that give them revenues to survive on their own. The Sunnis are in the center (Saddam's old power base)...who cleansed many of their areas of Shia and other groups during the "Great Awakening" and there's the Shia south run by their clerics with support from Iran. Baghdad has also partitioned along sectarian lines but there continue to be a lot of flash points as private paramilitaries continue to position themselves for more territory and power. No group is strong enough to dominate the others and this is what has kept things in check but it's also kept a constant level of violence.

Iraq is one of many "states" that were drawn in the salons of Europe following World War I..."national borders" belie the real ethnic composition and we're witnessing many struggles all over the world based on that arbitrary partitioning. It's a big reason for the problems with Pakistan as the the border between that country and Afghanistan divides the Pushtan people. Sadly more bloodshed's ahead...fortunately our military is out of the Iraq mess...

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Response to KharmaTrain (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:22 AM

6. Let us not forget the former Yugoslavia.

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Response to hobbit709 (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:31 AM

7. Case In Point...

It took Milosevich a few years to tear apart what Tito tried to build over 30.

Of course there's the biggest partition that will remain a flash point...Israel...

Cheers...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:55 AM

8. Yes

Civil wars followed revolutions like summer follows spring. Theirs was not a typical, home-grown uprising and overthrow of Saddam but an invasion and regime change instituted by a foreign power. Once they got us out of their hair, the opposing factions and sects still exist, and the power struggle going on will grow into the inevitable civil war.

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